The National Court sentenced Villarejo to 19 years in prison and lead the way in one of the biggest causes of corruption

Retired Commissioner José Manuel Viareggio arrives at the National Court, on April 12, in Madrid.Alberto Ortega (Europe Press)

Retired Commissioner Jose Manuel Viareggio He lost his first major fight in National Court on Monday. The court sentenced the former police officer, the focus of a major corruption conspiracy that has shaken the foundations of the state since his arrest in November 2017, to 19 years in prison, accusing the officer of revealing secrets and forgery, but acquitting him of bribery and extortion. Thus, this decision opens the door for the return of the client, who has already spent three years in temporary confinement. He stayed behind bars behind him in March 2021, when he was released, shouting: “Have they decided to give vent to Spain? Well, I agree. I’m glad this happened.” His threat, despite this defeat, was fulfilled long ago.

In its 350-page ruling dated July 24, the court ruled forcefully against Viareggio, who surreptitiously recorded decades of his interlocutors speaking — audios that have not stopped coming since his arrest and that have affected the highest levels of the country, from the head of state to the government. Judges influence the “plurality of behaviors [irregulares] Show “by the police and” exorbitant sums “imposed on clients through their business group (Cenyt),” which apparently covers up the carrying out of illegal activities that depart from the notions billed, and in which the role of this defendant has emerged in preparing it.

In this trial that Seen for sentencing in September 2022 After a year of hearings, three of the supposed private espionage assignments received by the Personnel and Corporate Commissioner – named Project Iron (separate part 2 of the instructions) were addressed; Earth (Part 3); Warsam (Plot 6) -. In addition to the agent Another 26 people sat on the bench At this trial: among them his wife, Gemma Alcala; his son, José Manuel Villarejo Gil; and his partner, attorney Rafael Redondo. The first two were acquitted, but Redondo was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Iron focuses on being appointed commissioner by the law firm Herrero & Asociados to spy on a rival law firm. Land deals with the family war waged by the heirs of Luis García-Ceresida, the promoter who built the La Finca luxury development in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid). Y Pintor deals with how businessman Juan Muñoz Tamara, husband of anchor Ana Rosa Quintana, signed up Villarejo to illegally obtain data from a former partner to whom he claimed a debt. Agents of all of these committees admitted that they served the police services.

In fact, the latter also ended up being found guilty. The judges ruled against four Herrero & Asociados directors, who received prison sentences of between six months and two years. Also, against Susana García-Ceresida and two of her collaborators (Francisco Lorenzo Peñalver and David Fernández), who now face less than a year in prison. Likewise, against Juan Muñoz Tamara and his brother Fernando, who were sentenced to three months’ imprisonment after agreeing with the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

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For their part, police officers Constancio Riaño and Antonio Bonilla are also on the list of those acquitted. In the case of Commissioner Enrique García Castaño, the pseudonym fatHe has been ruled out of trial due to illness ever since He suffered a stroke in May 2022during the development of oral vision.

Bench experience

Villarejo already has ample experience on the bench. In addition to this oral hearing held against him in the National Court, which is part of a massive investigation into his alleged espionage work; The ex-cop had previously faced two other trials that put him on the ropes. But both came out unscathed.

at first, who ended up acquitted in 2021The prosecutor’s office even asked him to jail for two years for launching a campaign of insults and false convictions against the CNI director. In the second, the Public Prosecution Office requested four years to record and participate in the broadcast of the audio recording of a meeting held in 2014 by the police officers and the Iraqi National Discussion Council. Various aspects of the arrest of Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias shortly before, Little Nicholas. But at the beginning of 2023, the Madrid Regional Court concluded that there is no sufficient evidence to convict In this case.

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